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Dec 08, 2008


Not surprised

I am not surprised Inventor added this capability. Obviously, this technology is available in the market. I was told by Autodeskers that they purchased the technology from a third-party company (anyone know who?) and the CATIA write is also coming soon in the labs. I will download it later this week and post my experience with the product here.

Also Not Surprised

I'm also not surprised. Of course the technology exists and has done for a long time - it's not like we are talking about featured-based import! The only thing holding it back from Solidworks is political.

If this makes it into the commercial product - if - then Dassault have to build this into SolidWorks. Like many others I have to import Catia files regularly but the cost of CATIA v5 translators is very high. CATIA v4 translators are in many products - IronCad, Ashlar-Vellum etc, but CATIA v5 are still premium products.

Remains to be seen how good it actually is but if it does do the job then this is something SolidWorks/Dassault needs to address urgently - maybe even as a service patch in SW2009. CATIA v5 is pretty much the defacto file format in aerospace and automotive now - and there are a lot of sub contractors and tier suppliers who use Autocad/Inventor/SolidWorks who need to read CATIA files.

Norm C.

Solid Edge (Foundation version, don't know about Design & Drafting) can open CATIA V4 models and V5 parts and assemblies, without an add-on. Never had to use it, so I can't say if it's good or not.

It's odd that there is still no interoperability between SolidWorks and CATIA...

Not Surprised

I heard from our Autodesk reseller that this technology came from CCE, a Michigan company. 'CCE' is a.k.a. CADCAM-E and the website www.cadcam-e.com does have CAD Libraries. Guess its true! Looks like they have been in the translator business a long time. The reseller tells me PTC is also using this technology for their V5 translator.

Based on the many comments here, hey SolidWorks, maybe you should also buy this technology from these guys! But I suspect its more political than technical reason that SoldWorks doesnt have V5 translators. Is any at 'Works reading this?

Spatial, still a division of DS, does have a (pretty decent) V5->Parasolid converter.

Bill Fane

One thing to remeber: no translation is ever perfect because the other version may not have identical features/capabilities. Many years ago I had a need to translate between AutoCAD and the now-defunct ComputerVision Personal Designer.

There were two problems:

1. CV didn't allow nested block definitions (a block definition couldn't contain another block definition) so the ACAD to CV conversion simply ignored them without warning.

2. Whoever wrote the converter couldn't spell "continuous". Luckily the translation to ACAD was in DXF format, but I had to open every file in a text editor and replace "continuos" with "continuous".

A good test of a translator is to go out and back through the same translator to see if it is changing the flavour. The story goes that at the height of the cold war the CIA tried to develope a computer a program to translate Russian to English and vise-versa. For their first test they entered "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak". What they got back was "The booze is okay but the meat has gone bad".


Has anyone started working with the V5 converter in Inventor as yet? I'd be interested in knowing whether it works really.

Who are these 'CCE' guys anyway? Don't think I've heard much of them except at few user events. If any CCE folks are reading this - good job on your prize catch (AD, PTC, if true) over Spatial. And, I was deluding myself to think this was a Spatial-world!

[IP Address: CADCAM-E --Ed. note]


Yeah right...Inventor can barely read in Autocad files. I'll believe it when I see it. I work with people in all industries and people who use everthing from CATIA, UG, ProE, Inventor, and mostly SolidWorks, and I have yet hear anyone talk about this. If Autodesk had this ability, they'd be broadcasting this on prime time news because it would be something to brag about and they aren't saying much...I wonder why????

Chris H

Why don't Adsk/Inventor and DSS/SW work together to give their customers access to each other's data, instead of acting like ancient warring city-states who use "their people" to conquer each other in their "market wars"??

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